Top Businesswoman Unveils Computer Lab, Library In Rural Gutu
26 March 2024
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Gutu, Zimbabwe – March 23 2024 Divine Simbi Ndhlukula, a prominent philanthropist and award-winning businesswoman unveiled a state-of-the-art computer lab and library programme, at Makudo Business Center in rural Gutu which is also home to Ndhlukula. This groundbreaking initiative marks a significant milestone in advancing education and technology access in the region.

The launch event happened on Saturday, March 23, at the Mbuya Mary Simbi (MMS) Library in Makudo, Gutu. Notably, this initiative coincided with SECURICO’s International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 celebration, further emphasizing its commitment to empowering communities, particularly women and girls, through education and technology.

In 2021, the MMS Library was inaugurated as a beacon of knowledge and learning in the rural Gutu community. Recognizing the importance of bridging the digital divide, Dr. Divine Simbi Ndhlukula set a key goal to develop a computer lab within the library premises. This visionary initiative marks a significant milestone, with the computer lab being the first of its kind in the district. Its establishment aims to serve seven primary and secondary schools, equipping students with access to digital resources and tools for their academic journey.

The development of the MMS Library and Computer Lab Programme in rural Gutu has been a collaborative effort, with contributions from both individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing education and technology access in the region.

At the launch of her debut book “Entrepreneurial Success: Insights on Growing Business in a Fluid Economy” in February, Dr. Divine committed to raising funds for the realization of her long-held dream of a computer lab for rural learners in her home village. An auction was held and some notable individuals like Ken Sharpe, Gloria Zvaravanhu, Emilia Chisango, and others rose to the occasion which in turn assisted with the hardware

investment. Part of the profits of the book are channeled to the Divine Simbi Ndhlukula Foundation which was instrumental in setting up the library 3 years ago. SECURICO has also been a big benefactor to this initiative as they supported the library infrastructure as well as the human resource costs of employing a librarian, among other needed resources.

Their support underscores the collective commitment to creating a culture of learning and knowledge-sharing within the community as well as bridging the digital divide in rural communities.

Dr. Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support, emphasizing that proceeds from her book will be channeled toward assisting the less privileged.

The lab launch event witnessed a distinguished gathering of key figures from both the public and private sectors, united in their commitment to advancing education and technology access in rural areas.

Among the notable attendees were The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services-Hon. Dr. Tatenda Mavetera (MP); The Masvingo Provincial Education Director Shylette Mhike. District Education and Area Schools officials, local community leadership Chief Chitsa, representatives from The United Nations Development Programme, the Divine Network, and many friends of the MMS Library. Their presence underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between government entities, community leaders, and private enterprises in addressing the challenges faced by underserved communities.

Additionally, the event featured insightful speeches from Ms. Emilia Chisango, who emphasized the role of education and technology in community advancement, and Ms. Elizabeth Magaya, who eloquently addressed the theme of “Inspire Inclusion” for International Women’s Day 2024

This initiative exemplifies the power of partnerships in creating a more equitable and digitally literate society, ultimately paving the way for a brighter future for the youth of Gutu.

During her address at the event, Dr. Divine Simbi Ndhlukula articulated her vision for the transformative impact of donation on the community. With heartfelt conviction, she highlighted the profound value of reading and access to knowledge in shaping the future of the youth in Gutu.

Ndhlukula added, “Within the Mbuya Mary Simbi Library and Lab hangs a colossal world map, inspiring students to dream expansively, transcending the boundaries of their immediate reality. The many books within will undoubtedly propel their minds towards a brighter tomorrow. Now, these young minds can envision a future that extends beyond the confines of their immediate surroundings. In hindsight, I owe my greatest gifts – love, industry, and a passion for books to my parents. Books, the gateway to uncharted worlds for those who dare to dream, empowered me to stand before diverse audiences, to lead experts, and to champion my business.” She said.